Policy Number: 5.120

Policy Name: Faculty Minimum Qualifications

Original Adoption: January 1, 1991

Revised: August 2018

Next Scheduled Review: August 2022

Responsible Cabinet Member: Vice President for Academic Affairs

Department/Office: Vice President for Academic Affairs


BACKGROUND/HISTORY

This policy replaces the previous board policies related to faculty qualifications from January 1, 1991 and August 27, 2003. The policy is updated to accurately reflect the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Board Policies and revisions in Higher Learning Commission Assumed Practices, which were revised in July, 2015.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all faculty and instructors in for-credit programs, including concurrent and/or dual enrollment courses, or programs in which Prior Learning credit could be transcripted.

AUTHORITY

  • Arkansas Department of Higher Education Board Policies (Adopted October 01, 2015)
  • National Park College is fully accredited with the Higher Learning Commission and complies with the commission’s Assumed Practices B.2. when hiring faculty.

DEFINITIONS

Faculty and instructors refer to anyone assigned to teach courses for the college. The term faculty can also be used generically to refer to a group of individuals assigned to the responsibility of instruction.

“General Education,” as used below, is defined as courses and degree programs intended to transfer to a four year university.

POLICY STATEMENT

According to Arkansas Department of Higher Education policy,

  • Faculty must hold degrees, certifications and licenses from institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education such as the Higher Learning Commission or from institutions with comparable status, certification or recognition in other countries.
  • Faculty members teaching general education core courses are expected to hold at least a master’s degree with 18 graduate hours in the teaching field. (A limited number of faculty may hold equivalent documented experience to meet educational qualifications.)
  • Typically, faculty members teaching remedial/developmental education courses hold a master’s degree, but must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the teaching field.
  • Faculty members teaching in occupational skill areas must hold at least an associate degree or appropriate industry-related licensure/certification.

For faculty teaching college-credit classes concurrently, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education stipulates the following:

  • Faculty teaching general education concurrent courses must have a master’s degree that includes a minimum of 18 graduate college credit hours in the subject area being taught.
  • College or university faculty who travel to the high school or secondary center to teach concurrent courses (and/or faculty and staff that have direct, official contact with the high school student) must have a criminal background check and complete the child maltreatment training course as required of public school teachers.
  • The teacher of the blended AP/concurrent course(s) must have completed AP training in the subject area(s), must have a master’s degree with a minimum of 18 graduate college credit hours in the subject area being taught, must be approved to teach the concurrent course(s) by the college/university, and must provide the college/university with documentation of successful completion of AP training.
  • Clarification: The teacher of the blended IB/concurrent course(s) must have a master’s degree that includes a minimum of 18 graduate college credit hours in the subject area being taught, and must be approved to teach the concurrent course(s) by the college/university. The high school must provide the college/university with documentation that teacher of the blended IB/concurrent courses(s) has been approved/assigned by the high school to teach the IB course(s).
  • The instructor of record must be the individual that teaches the concurrent course(s); and for general education concurrent courses and blended AP/concurrent or blended IB/concurrent courses these individuals must have a master’s degree that includes a minimum of 18 graduate college credit hours in the subject areas being taught. For the purpose of teaching a concurrent course under this policy, an individual under contract with the school district as a teacher will not be considered an adjunct faculty member of the college/university.

In addition, the Higher Learning Commission requires accredited colleges and universities to abide by the following assumed practices:

B.2. Faculty Roles and Qualifications

  • Qualified faculty members are identified primarily by credentials, but other factors, including but not limited to equivalent experience, may be considered by the institution in determining whether a faculty member is qualified. Instructors (excluding for this requirement teaching assistants enrolled in a graduate program and supervised by faculty) possess an academic degree relevant to what they are teaching and at least one level above the level at which they teach, except in programs for terminal degrees or when equivalent experience is established. In terminal degree programs, faculty members possess the same level of degree. When faculty members are employed based on equivalent experience, the institution defines a minimum threshold of experience and an evaluation process that is used in the appointment process. Faculty teaching general education courses, or other non-occupational courses hold a master’s degree or higher in the discipline or subfield. If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or subfield other than that in which he or she is teaching, that faculty member should have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they teach.
  • Faculty participate substantially in:
    • oversight of the curriculum—its development and implementation, academic substance, currency, and relevance for internal and external constituencies;
    • assurance of consistency in the level and quality of instruction and in the expectations of student performance;
    • establishment of the academic qualifications for instructional personnel;
    • analysis of data and appropriate action on assessment of student learning and program completion.

Exceptions can be made if they are in keeping with the Higher Learning Commission's expectations for qualified faculty.

PROCEDURES/RELATED DOCUMENTS AND FORMS

Faculty Minimum Qualifications